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As we are all challenged in this time of sheltering-in-place, quarantine, and just plain fear of COVID-19, I am reviving my Bygone Books blog to include a Daily Snippet, 100 words from page 134 taken from the various books on my shelves – the read, the unread, the never-to-be-read. Yes, there will be some Jane Austen – please forgive me that – but also any number of other titles and authors and subjects from all ages. Having recently moved and given away the majority of my books – a time I not-so-affectionately call “The Great Chaos,” I look upon the survivors from that major purge with a great deal of affection, trying not to focus (and struggling not to remember!) those that are now hopefully lining the shelves of other book lovers.

So, no rhyme or reason here – just a quick sample from a random page from a random shelf – some will make no sense, some will make you think ‘reason enough never to read that book,” but hopefully some will make you want to read more. I am hoping our present state will not continue much longer and therefore not afford me the time to actually READ every book on my shelves, but this will give some needed nod to an odd assortment of works that interest me – hope they will interest you too.

I welcome comments you might like to share about any particular book mentioned: have you read it? liked it? loathed it? anything about the author? your favorite book on your shelf, etc… Stay healthy and safe all!


Daily Snippet #1: page 134 / 100 words

Jane West. A Gossip’s Story, and A Legendary Tale. Ed. Devoney Looser, Melinda O’Connell, and Caitlin Kelly. Valancourt Books, 2016. Originally published 1796.

“…that opinion seemed confirmed by the vivacity of the rejected lover. Perplexed at this suggestion, Marianne determined to appeal to her Eliza Milton, who was an excellent casuist in all points of love and honour. On the evening she returned home, she retired early from supper, in order to write down the whole particulars. Bur the affecting sight which she saw on entering her dressing room, incapacitated her for using her pen. It was no other than the little canary-bird, her favourite pet, lifeless at the bottom of its cage, and insensible to the caresses of its weeping mistress. I…”


Book description from the Valencourt Books website:

“One of the most popular and prolific authors of her time, Jane West (1758-1852) enjoyed her greatest success with A Gossip’s Story, and A Legendary Tale (1796), one of the best-selling novels of its era. Yet in addition to its significance as a lost classic by a neglected woman writer, A Gossip’s Story has long been recognized by scholars as a likely influence on Jane Austen’s celebrated novel Sense and Sensibility (1811).”

c2020 Bygone Books blog